Crime spree across city

Doreen Maddison-Lee at Bondgate Fisheries. (130422M3)
Doreen Maddison-Lee at Bondgate Fisheries. (130422M3)

A crime spree in the city has left business owners reeling after thieves snatched cash, cigarettes and alcohol in a string of daylight robberies.

Police arrested a 31-year-old man on suspicion of burglary after £90 was stolen from the till at Bondgate Fisheries – which has only been open for three weeks – on Bondgate Green, while the shop was closed, on Monday, April 15 between 2 and 3pm.

The arrested man, from Ripon, has been remanded in custody and is due to appear at Harrogate Magistrates Court in connection with the break-in and theft on May 7.

“We had an absolutely great first week and now our spirits have been battered,” Bondgate Fisheries’s owner Doreen Maddison-Lee, 53, told the Gazette.

“It has put us on a bit of a downer but we are trying to keep our spirits high and we will continue to provide the best customer service.”

Just a few days after the Bondgate Fisheries burglary, in a separate incident, thieves broke into The Forge sandwich shop across the road on Canal Wharf, stealing cash from the till and chocolate bars on Thursday, April 18 between 1.30-2.10am.

Judith Wolloms, 42, who has owned The Forge for six years, said: “We have tight security so obviously it is quite a shock when something like this happens.”

And in a string of separate incidents, a middle-aged man snatched three bottles of champagne from the Co-op store at Quarry Moor Garage, Harrogate Road on Wednesday, April 3, and thieves stole what police are calling a “substantial amount” of cigarettes from the same garage on Harrogate Road on April 16.

Ripon police have also released an image (see page 5) of a man suspected of stealing three bottles of spirits worth nearly £60 from off-licences in the city.

The man is suspected of stealing two bottles of whisky worth more than £40 from Quarry Moor Garage on Harrogate Road on Tuesday, March 26 at 2.40pm, and a bottle of vodka worth £12 from Lark Lane Post Office at 3.50pm on the same day.

Quarry Moor Garage manager Tom Mainwaring told the Gazette: “We want to provide the best service possible but we also have to reduce what we’re displaying in the shop and make our promotions less visible. It means the minority are disadvantaging the majority.

“It’s a double-kick in the teeth because it’s not just our customers who are affected but the whole community.

“But we always aim to provide great customer service and we will take it on the chin.”

l Anyone with any information can contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 2 and ask for PC Andrew Tiffany or Ripon police.

Alternatively, information can be sent via email to andrew.tiffany@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk.

If you wish to remain anonymous, Crimestoppers can be contacted on 0800 555 111. For more crime, see page 4.